Spielberg does a great job in recreating the amistad revolt that spurred a series of trials beginning in the lower courts of connecticut and ultimately. Historian eric foner, dewitt clinton professor of history at columbia university, examines the issues surrounding the historical film amistad. The film is a fictional portrayal of events surrounding the successful revolt in 1839 by a group of africans headed for slavery in the americas. Here are a handful of additional examples, comparingcontrasting scenes from 12 years a slave the movie vs. It is carrying a cargo of africans who have been sold into slavery in cuba, taken on board, and chained in. This steven spielbergdirected exploration into a longago episode in africanamerican history recounts the trial that followed the 1839 rebellion aboard the spanish slave ship amistad and. I would like to break down what transpired in the movie and how the characters were portrayed and find homework help for other history. Amistad is worth seeing just for people to know about this important story, this moment in history. Supreme court highlighted to the public the evils of slavery and is seen as a major step toward. There is no denying that the movie strays from the true events that occurred in 1839 and specifically changes character traits. The mutineers were captured and tried in the united states, and a surprising victory for the. Two spanish plantation owners, don jose ruiz and don.
These captives were sent to havana, cuba to be sold into slavery. When the amistad is captured by the american naval vessel, and cinque jumps out of the dinghy to swim for it, the frontal shot of his face with the pursuing boat behind him shows the sun overhead, at midday or morning, towards viewers left. The true story of the amistad experience offers links that detail the. The amistad s story began in 1839 when slave hunters captured large numbers of native africans near mendeland in presentday sierre leone. Parents need to know that amistad is a 1997 oscarnominated steven spielberg movie about west africans on a slave ship who revolt against their captors but still must fight for their freedom in the courtrooms of america. The fabulous story of the mummified maori head new zealand history documentary timeline duration. This is the most straightforward, understated, and powerful bigscreen representation of the gospel in recent movie history. Amistad, the new film by steven spielberg, is a masterpiece of film making providing a thoroughly rewarding entertainment and learning experience. While the film is loosely based on the true story of a group of mende people from sierra leone, who in 1839 overpowered their spanish captors. And for that, amistad should be recommended to everyone. Of course, it is politically and historically flawed, and it gushes with bourgeois morality. Much of the story revolves a courtroom drama as lawyers for the slaves seek their freedom and return home. Learn amistad history with free interactive flashcards.
Slavery has always been the most shocking phenomena of our world. A popular movie such as amistad is not held out as a documentary but is instead a mix of entertainment and history. Amistad is a 1997 american historical drama film directed by steven spielberg, based on the true story of the events in 1839. They were taken to the african slave port of lomboko where a total of 500 people were purchased by a slave trader.
In recent years, the amistad affair has taken on greater and greater significance for those seeking an understanding of african american history and culture. Spielbergs 1997 movie amistad, the uprising, which created a nation. With the basic background knowledge i brought to the film, i thought it generally succeeded as both, particularly as entertainment. Africanamerican artist hale woodruff painted murals portraying events related to the revolt on the amistad in 1938, for talladega college in alabama. Overall, however, as a movie amistad is simply a bore. The story of amistad, spielbergs latest foray into what he calls socially conscious filmmaking, shares the. On june 27, 1839, the spanish ship the amistad left the port of havana, cuba, with captain ransom ferrer. The amistad case is one of the most important to ever come before us courts. This abduction violated all of the treaties then in existence. The zigzagging vessel was the amistad, a spanish slaver whose mutinying cargo of several dozen african captives had killed at least two of their captors were they menor were they property. Director stephen spielberg deserves credit for bringing to public attention what historians used to refer to dismissively as the amistad incident. On friday, december 12th, dreamworks latest movie, amistad, opened in major markets nationwide. Travel the amistad freedomseeking story, connecticut u.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Get an answer for a detailed summary of the film amistad. Amistad is the name of a slave ship travelling from cuba to the u. From the discovery section of this website you can learn the history of the real amistad revolt of 18391842 on which steven spielbergs 1997 feature film amistad was based, a shipboard uprising off the coast of cuba that carried itself, inadvertently but fatefully, to the united stateswhere the amistad captives set off an intense legal. Right wingers who say slavery is history and no one needs to be reminded about it have attacked the movie.
It lobbed the country into a debate about slavery, freedom, and the meaning of citizenship. It is the story of a group of africans who were captured in sierra leone and brought in chains to the americas and who revolted, captured their ship, the amistad, and eventually were seized off the coast of new england. It almost goes without saying that you have to allow room for some creative leeway and exaggerationchanges for dramatic effect something i addressed last year with an examination of the truth vs. But from the worlds most powerful, successful and famous director, we expect more. The amistad was a spanish schooner taken over by a group of captured africans seeking to escape impending slavery in cuba. The film amistad, by steven spielberg is a prime example of a historically accurate movie that has a glossy hollywood coating to appeal to the public. Amistad mutiny north americanafrican history britannica. The amistad case took place in 1839 when 53 illegally purchased african slaves were being transported from cuba to the u. It is carrying a cargo of africans who have been sold into slavery in cuba, taken on board, and chained in the cargo hold of the ship. The movie amistad is both a moving epic and socially stimulating. Amistad omits some truths that must be told baltimore sun. In this essay he explores the problems faced by the producers of amistad and the shortcomings of both the film and its accompanying study guide in their attempt to portray history. Navy vessel, abolitionists filed a court case to free the africans.
While steven spielbergs amistad presents glimpses of historical truths, the majority of the film distorts and subverts the historical accuracy of the amistad event. This movie is a fictionalized account of the 1839 revolt by illegally enslaved africans aboard the spanish ship, le amistad. When the shot changes to behind him chasers view, the sun is dead in front of him and setting. Based on the true story of a significant moment during americas slave trade, this movie shows the saga of an 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship, amistad. During the voyage, there was an uprising in which the slaves killed the captain and took possession of the ship. More importantly, foner raises questions not only about the accuracy of details and lack of historic. The national park service invites you to travel the amistad. The opening scene, showing the slave revolt on board the amistad, is very violent, with blood and death from swords, axes, and muskets. Teaching american history and the movie amistad american. A movie, amistad 1997, was based on the events of the revolt and court cases, and howard jones 1987 book mutiny on the amistad.1002 684 955 1118 405 1530 1299 821 584 915 782 370 721 102 181 283 613 16 844 949 222 30 428 1075 459 410 857 866